Episode 2: School's Cool

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Episode 2: School's Cool


Why did schoolchildren have to brush their teeth by the drain? Find out from Mr Walid.

  • Episode summary

    Chalk, blackboards, wooden furniture, brushing your teeth by the drain. School days were different back then. The trio visit a classroom from the past and look at what life in school used to be like. Assistant Professor Walid Jumblatt Abdullah, a lecturer from the Nanyang Technological University, also shares memories of his school days.

  • Recommended Books


    Aman Goes to School
    by Sandeep Singh
    Publisher: Not identified

    Aman has started kindergarten but things are not going as planned! Feeling left out, lonely and anxious, he turns to his grandmother, whose stories always make him feel safe and loved. Will she be able to help Aman overcome his challenges in school?

    Source: Synopsis from book cover

    The Bus Driver

    The Bus Driver
    by Ames Chen
    Publisher: Graceworks

    Do you take the same bus to school every morning? Can you recall what the driver looks like? Find out how one student tries to save the job of his favourite bus driver, who is not just another face in the crowd, but his hero and role model.

    Source: Synopsis from book cover

    School in the Glass City

    The Adventures of Greco and Beco: The School in the Glass City
    by Gwen Lee
    Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Children

    Alex is not just mean to his schoolmates Bucky and Gaia; he also doesn’t think twice about wasting natural resources! When things get out of hand, Greco and Beco decide to intervene. With the help of a little magic, they transport Alex forward in time. The Singapore of 2047 looks picture-perfect, but is it really? Follow Greco and Beco as they reveal the key to a sustainable future.

    Source: Synopsis from book cover

  • Curated Resources

    Blast from the Past
    Schooling in the Past
    Did you know that recitation and penmanship were once taught in schools in Singapore? And that a visit to a local fishing village was a school excursion?

    Off the Record
    Sharity the Elephant and Friends, 1993
    Sharity the Elephant is the mascot of Community Chest. The name is a combination of the words “Share” and “Charity”. Click through to find out more about Sharity’s makeover in 2011.

    Teeth Brushing Exercise, 1969
    Students in schools were given a 10-cent toothbrush and a 15-cent plastic mug. Squatting side-by-side along a drain, the students would brush their teeth together. And thus began the Teeth Brushing campaign in February 1969.

    Singapore Infopedia
    First Road Courtesy Campaign
    by Lim Tin Seng

    The Road Courtesy Campaign was launched by then Deputy Prime Minister Toh Chin Chye on 10 September 1966. It was the first national campaign to instil a greater awareness of road safety. It marked the start of a sustained effort in Singapore to bring down the number of road accidents and improve civility on the roads.

    Oral History Interviews

    Oral History Interview with Vivien Goh
    Accession Number: 002939

    Ms Vivien Goh talks about her school life and recess time at the Methodist Girls’ School. She also describes the games that were played during recess. To listen to the interview, head on to reel/disc 2.

    Oral History Interview with Mrs Carmee Lim
    Accession Number: 002590

    Mrs Carmee Lim recalls her school days at Yangzheng Primary. Despite attending a Chinese school, Mrs Carmee Lim said that she had no problems adjusting to an English-speaking environment at Stamford Primary School. A member of her school’s choir at Raffles Girls School, Mrs Carmee Lim also enjoyed sports. To listen to the interview, head on to reel/disc 2.

    Oral History Interview with Hossan Leong; Patrick Han; Tan Sia Lim Gary; Kuay Soong Teck; Amos Hilary Mok Liang; Leslie Tan Wee Ming; Douglas Yeo and Zakir Hamid
    Accession Number: 004047

    Seven Anglo-Chinese Primary School (ACPS) (Coleman) old boys (1976-81) share the fun things they did during recess at school. The games they played were capteh (feathered shuttlecock), hantam bola (playing tag with a ball) and capteh football. The interviewees also talk about the subsidised milk provided and having to squat by the drain to brush their teeth as part of the government’s teeth brushing campaign. To listen to the interview, head on to reel/disc 2.

    Audiovisual Recordings

    Programme Title: Berita Singapura: 1. Secondary Schools 2. A Story of Courage 3. Regatta
    Accession No: 1982000270
    Ministry of Culture, courtesy of the National Archives of Singapore

    Footage features children playing; children in class; new secondary school buildings; second language classes in progress; technical workshops; science laboratories; gymnastics class and a basketball game.


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